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2016 Arizona Fall League: Thursday notes

Nick Gordon
Nick Gordon
Brace Hemmelgarn, Getty Images

Some additional comments as the 2016 Arizona Fall League enters its second week of action:

Nick Gordon, SS, Minnesota Twins (Surprise Saguaros): Minnesota's 2014 first round pick is off to a fast start in five games, going 8-for-19 (.421) with a double, four walks, and two stolen bases. This follows on the heels of a .291/.335/.386 campaign in High-A from the 20-year-old, which got him listed as the Number Four prospect in the Florida State League by Baseball America. Nick isn't as toolsy as his older brother Dee but he is much sounder in terms of instincts and fundamentals than his sibling was at the same age.

Gleyber Torres, SS, New York Yankees (Scottsdale Scorpions): Torres is 7-for-17 (.412) in his first five games with two homers, two doubles, and four walks. Torres ranked second on the BA Florida State League prospect list, and of course received considerable notice this past summer when he was the key prospect acquired by the Yankees in the Aroldis Chapman trade with the Chicago Cubs. He draws positive reviews for his defense and his power is developing nicely; he's just 19 and his overall ceiling is quite high.

Ryan McMahon, 3B, Colorado Rockies (Salt River Rafters): McMahon is 6-for-21 (.286) in his first six games with a triple, four walks, and six strikeouts. Watching his contact and plate discipline metrics this fall will be interesting, given that contact problems were a limiting factor for his Double-A performance in 2016; he hit .242/.325/.399 with 55 walks but 161 strikeouts in 466 at-bats in the Eastern League, his SLG and ISO numbers well down from past standards amidst questions about his ability to adapt against advanced pitching, especially important since he may wind up at first base in the long run. At age 21 he has time.

Harrison Bader, OF, St. Louis Cardinals (Glendale Desert Dogs): Bader is 6-for-16 (.375) in his first five games with a double, a home run, a stolen base, two walks, and five strikeouts. Like McMahon, Bader has a considerable sock in his bat but questions about his ability to manage the zone after he drew 36 walks against 131 strikeouts in 465 at-bats between Double-A and Triple-A in the regular season. He also hit 19 homers and in general performed well for a guy who was just one year out of college (third round, 2015, University of Florida) but he'll need to make further adjustments to carry that to St. Louis.